School Bond Would Ensure Students are ‘Warm, Safe and Dry,’ Replace CHS Science Wing

On Tuesday night, the community got its first real look at an approximately $75 million bond proposal the Canby School Board is considering placing on the ballot for the May primary.

It has long been known that the proposal — which is designed to extend, but not raise, tax rates by replacing the current bond payments that built Baker Prairie Middle School 15 years ago — would be aimed at improving school facilities and addressing deferred maintenance projects, as well as expanding opportunities for hands-on learning and upgrading school safety and security.

But at the community meeting held in the library of the Ackerman Center this week, the district presented some of the specifics.

Click to access 20-0211_CSD_CommunityMeeting.pdf

Under the draft package presented Tuesday, of the estimated $75 million a replacement bond measure would raise:

$27.16 million would go toward high-priority facility upgrades and safety improvements (what the district calls its “Warm, Safe and Dry” initiative), including addressing roof repairs and replacements, HVAC systems, MEP systems and other interior and exterior projects.

$22.75 million would go toward replacing the existing “200 Wing” science classrooms and lab spaces at Canby High School, including design, demolition and new construction.

$10.22 million would go toward instructional technology improvements, including wireless access points, projectors and voice amplification systems in classrooms; security cameras and installation; projection, sound and other technology in school gyms, cafeterias, libraries and computer labs for events; communications technology such as new phone, intercom, clock and bell systems; a student technology “refresh” that would replace devices and increase student-to-device ratios; and MDF/IDF technology distribution closets (including school site technology/network connection points and terminals).

$4 million would go toward upgrades of existing light fixtures to more efficient and longer-lasting LED light fixtures and controls.

$2.28 million would go toward districtwide ADA improvements, including the addition of one ADA unisex restroom at each school (except Baker Prairie) and one ADA changing room at Knight Elementary; ADA push buttons at entry doors; an elevator and corridor to provide access to locker rooms at the Ackerman Center; and districtwide playground accessibility improvements (includes surfacing, ramps and equipment).

$650,000 would go toward a robust master planning process, including an elementary school replacement study and planning, middle school visioning and planning, comprehensive visioning and master planning for the high school and a maintenance building replacement study.

$90,700 would go toward fire safety improvements, including two fire suppression doors at Knight Elementary, and the wiring of an existing set of fire suppression doors at Lee Elementary to the main office’s lock-down system.

$7.5 million (10 percent) would be retained for contingency, issuance and management of the funds and projects.

Also at issue is an approximately $4.6 million grant from the state’s Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching Program that was awarded to Canby School District, but this would only be guaranteed if the bond passes in May.

The current grant will have expired by November. CSD would have to reapply, and because Canby doesn’t meet the criteria of being a priority district, its funding request would be determined through a lottery.

But, if the school board does vote to place a measure on the ballot for May, voters will need to have some idea of what the plans are for that money.

On Tuesday, the district presented several alternatives, all of them related to athletic improvement projects at various schools, then gave attendees the chance to vote on their favorites with novelty “Cougar Bucks.”

Canby High School turf fields: New turf infields for CHS softball and baseball, new multipurpose turf athletic field.

Baker Prairie field improvements: Make drainage improvements to existing athletic fields.

Middle school track improvements: Resurface existing track at the Ackerman Center.

Canby is currently in the midst of districtwide polling, to gather further feedback and input from prospective voters about the projects included in the bond package and the proposed ballot language.

The final meeting of the Bond Development Committee will be on Feb. 18, at which the group would review the poll results and input from the community meeting, and make changes or adjustments as necessary.

The package will then be finalized and presented to the school board for their vote at a special meeting on Feb. 26. The deadline to submit a ballot measure for the primary is Feb. 28.

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